This was a harder trip than the others, and not just because of the emptiness caused by Malot's absence.
When we arrived, we found the orphanage was struggling. They'd recently been hit with Giardia and many of the children had been very ill. A couple had been hospitalized again. The hurricanes changed circumstances in Haiti. Food became more difficult to get and costs rose once again. The orphanage had only been able to feed the children once per day for some time and the children were dealing with the effects of that. Some of these little ones are struggling so much. There are children between 18 months and 2 years who weigh around 10 lbs. It's so heartbreaking to see them so weak and so ill and know that you can only hold them for such a short time at present. We brought food down, donated by Feed My Starving Children. Unfortunately, with the weight limits imposed by the airlines and with the items we needed to bring down to care for our children during our week at the hotel, we weren't able to bring as much food as we would have liked. Brent estimated that it would get them through a month, if they ate only that.
We won't be able to return with more funds and supplies until after the first of the year. We're so worried about how to help them get over these current struggles. People think that because Haiti is impoverished the cost of things there must be very cheap. While labor may be cheap, food and shelter are NOT. The costs to run an orphange, even one as small as ours, are nearly overwhelming.
What we really need is for some of these adoptions to be finalized so some of these children can come home. Unfortunately, that's out of their hands just as it's out of ours. We're all at the mercy of government officials in both Haiti and America. We're waiting for PROCESS to happen and for PAPERWORK to be completed. And every day is another day of struggle, both in the hearts of the waiting families and in the physical trials of the little ones.